Mitch’s Story

With all the bad news we hear on TV or read in the newspaper, we need some good news to give us balance, to give us hope and to make us smile.  Here is one such story.

“Mitch”, who is now in his early 60s, has had unstable housing for 15 years or more since being badly injured in a serious workplace accident.  A Highlands volunteer first met him at the Lookout Shelter in 2005. Since then, he has made strong connections with several Highlands volunteers because he is  such a personable, interesting, respectful man.

In 2020, he found himself living on the street, feeding himself by collecting bottles.

Recently, this 15 year saga took a turn for the better.  “Donna”, a community member who had established contact with Mitch, started a GoFundMe page and raised enough money for a temporary motel room.  Then workers at the Hollyburn Society found a one bedroom apartment and provided a one year rent subsidy.

Mitch had no belongings other than the clothes on his back.  Shelter to Home was able to furnish Mitch’s apartment, from bed, couch and dining table to bedding, dishes, pots and pans, and much more.  On Saturday, January 30, he moved into his apartment.

Talk about the community coming together to give Mitch a new lease on life!  He moves forward in 2021 with a renewed sense of dignity, hope, and normalcy after a desperate year, and a difficult 15 year period.  What a privilege for our Shelter to Home team to have contributed to his new life.

Mitch responded:

“To all my friends who shared their emotional, financial or physical support, I love and appreciate all of you for one of the most beautiful gifts I could have ever asked for, my own apartment.

My heart is just now beginning to feel the happiness and joy, settling in and unpacking boxes, ha ha. I never dreamed I would be excited to receive a broom and dust pan, or a dish rack.

I have to tell you all that days ago, prior to moving in, I was being asked if I was happy with getting my new place, and I was not.  I actually felt nervous, and to that I asked why?

After some introspection, I realized that sometimes, we – myself and others  who live very close to the streets – lose  the beautiful ability to feel excitement and happiness because of the never ending variables and disappointments we are faced with!

To be able to truly feel human again, with a happy heart and a positive soul, this is the true gift all of you have blessed me with.

I am honoured to have so many solid loving people like you in my life, that you so very much for letting me be alive again,

God bless you all.”

Names have been changed to protect privacy